Poor sweet M. She’s just been our unlucky little girl from the beginning, from the positive pregnancy test happening the day before my friend died, to being induced because my liver was trying to kill her, to the weeks of casting and years of bracing for clubbed feet. We thought we had finally caught a break when we were two months into solid food and there were no signs of allergies.

And then one rainy day, she threw up in the Safeway parking lot. And the floor of the car. And her car seat. And the kitchen floor. And her bedroom floor. Thirty minutes later — just as I had arranged for someone to look after C so I could take M to emerg, she stopped. And she smiled. And she babbled.

While I didn’t rush her to the hospital in the end, we did see her paediatrician as soon as possible, and she tentatively diagnosed M with FPIES – food protein induce enterocolitis syndrome — a rare form of allergy that occurs in the digestive system. It’s symptoms include projectile vomiting for 30+ minutes, approximately 2+ hours after eating, and can lead to dehydration and shock in as many as 1 of 5 kids with this type of allergy. Because of the delay and the fact there are no current tests to diagnose it, many kids are misdiagnosed or given improper treatments when they do go to the hospital.

While we’re no strangers to egg allergies, since C spent half a year unable to ingest them (though she had the typical IgE reactions), it’s different this time around. There is no EpiPen to pack into the diaper bag, because epinephrine can’t stop or slow the reaction. Once it starts, you have to ride it out, and treat the dehydration / shock is it appears.

It’s stressful. It’s stressful because she developed this allergy after having eggs many times before. It’s stressful because when she reacted again a few weeks later, we had to feed her each ingredient separately to see which made her sick (this time chicken). It’s stressful because I turn my back for a second, and she’s got something in her mouth and I never know what. I (figuratively) hold my breath for two hours after every meal, even if it’s something she’s eaten earlier in the day without issue.

But M, that sweet little girl? It doesn’t phase her. It doesn’t stop her. She smiles — albeit it weakly — through the whole thing. My little one might not have all the luck, but she is, if nothing else, resilient.


Categories: The new identity | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Resilient

  1. You know who else is resilient? YOU my friend. You are handling all that’s been thrown at you with this sweet little girl and keeping it together so well. I was having a conversation with a newer mom recently and we were talking to another mom who had a micro preemie years ago. The newer mom said “I just don’t know how you did it, how you could deal with it, I don’t think I could” and the other mom said “well, you just show up and do it, you don’t have a choice.” I think that is motherhood in a nutshell. We show up and we do it. And you are doing a great job with that sweet little M. I’m praying this is your last bump in the road with her. ❤

    • Oh I have no doubt there will be plenty of bumps ahead, but as long as these are the worst, I’ll be happy! You’re right — you never know what you can get through until you’re getting through it (or already through it). I think also the “unique” problems distract us from the “regular” problems, so we probably aren’t worrying any more than with C, just worrying about different things. Apparently my kid is 9 months old and still only sleeps 25 minute naps. After 6-7 months of that with C, I was reading every book and website to “fix it”. This time, I’m just rolling with it because I’m reading every book and website about something else! That said, I can’t wait for all of these things to be a distant memory.

  2. Poor sweet M! She sure does sound resilient, and clearly a strong little girl! But I’m so sorry for all the stress and worry that YOU are going through, because it’s always harder on the mama. Is it something she’ll grow out of?

    • She should grow out of it by age 4. And yes, always harder on the Mama. The doctor asked: “And how long did it take for a full recovery?” and my response was: “about 1/2 hour for her, and I’m still waiting on me :)”

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